April Classes and Programs at Parents Place Marin

March 27, 2016

Girls LeadershipParents Place in San Rafael has been a valuable resource for countless Marin County parents and families. They offer a wide variety of programs and classes for parents and children throughout the year. Here are a few of their spring classes offerings during the month of April.

Webinar: Ready, Set, Go! Supporting Your Child's Transition to Kindergarten

Monday, April 4, noon–1 pm
Learn all about what to expect from Kindergarten and what teachers will expect of you and your child. Discussion will include ways you can help your child be ready both academically and emotionally for this exciting transition. Join presenter Stephanie Agnew for this interactive online workshop. $10. Register here.

Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child (1–5 years)

Marin Weekend Family Fun for March 25, 26 & 27

March 27, 2016

Easter egg huntHere are our picks for great events and activities for children and families this weekend. Find more events for the whole week in Marin and throughout the Bay Area in our Family Events Calendar.

Friday, March 25

  • Friday Fun Day!
    South Novato Library
    Friday, 3–4 pm

    Enjoy an afternoon of fun with the family at the South Novato Library. Whether it’s story, art, music or science, this drop-in program promises to be packed with fun! For All Ages. Location: 931 C Street, Novato. For more info, visit their website.
  • Flashlight Egg Hunt
    Piper Park, Larkspur
    Friday, 8:15 pm

    Grab your flashlight and basket and come to Piper Park for Larkspur's first Flashlight Egg Hunt! Eggs stuffed with goodies will be spread across a section of the park. When the horn sounds, flashlights will turn on and the search begins! The hunt will begin at precisely 8:30 pm so don’t be late! For kids ages 9+. Location: 250 Doherty Drive, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.
  • Annual Flashlight Egg Hunt
    Memorial Park, San Anselmo
    Friday, 8:15 pm
    Back by popular demand, the annual Flashlight Egg Hunt returns on Friday at 8:15 pm sharp! Bring your basket and a good flashlight. For youth ages 8 and up only. Egg hunt lasts for about 5 minutes, so don't be late. Sponsored by San Anselmo Parks and Recreation. For more info, call (415) 258-4640. Visit their website for more info.

Saturday, March 26

  • Easter Celebration & Easter Egg Hunt!
    Marin Country Mart Farmers Market
    Saturday, 9 am–2 pm

    Welcome Spring in all its glory by meeting the Easter Bunny while doing fun Easter activities at the Marin Country Mart Farmers' Market. Children will enjoy a creative spring inspired reusable art project with SCRAP. Baby chicks and a small animal petting zoo will be on display at Victoria's Fashion Stable. There’s children's musical entertainment featuring Miss Kitty from 9:30-10:30 am, with an Easter Bunny lead Easter egg hunt to follow. The Easter egg hunt begins at 10:30 am and will be held on the sculpture lawn in the courtyard. Plus there will be a mimosa bar at the Farmers' Market, featuring fresh pressed orange juice and local bubbles. For more info, visit their website.
  • Spring Egg Hunt
    Piper Park, Larkspur
    Saturday, 10 am

    Grab your basket and come to the Spring Egg Hunt at beautiful Piper Park in Larkspur! Children will be divided into age-specific areas to search for eggs. Keep an eye out for the Golden Eggs which are filled with gift certificates to local busi-nesses! There will also be a small petting zoo, crafts, hot cocoa, and the Bunny to take photos with! Free. Location: 250 Doherty Drive, Larkspur. For more info, visit their website.
  • 4th Annual Community Easter Egg Hunt
    San Clemente Park, Corte Madera
    Saturday, 10–10:30 am
    Hillside Church of Marin is excited to host a community Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter. With over 2000 eggs, separate areas for under 3 yrs and big kids and a pictures with the Easter Bunny we have something for everyone! Free. Egg hunt will start at 10 am sharp; it's over in about 3 minutes! Older kids will start at 10 am and under 3s will begin at 10:10 am. Bring your own basket. For more info, visit their website.
  • Fairfax's Annual Easter Egg Hunt
    Bolinas Park
    Saturday, 10 am–noon
    Egg hunt starts at 10 am sharp! Come join the Easter bunny in a hunt for eggs at Bolinas Park! There will be music by James K, face painting, bubbles, and more fun! For ages 8 and below. Don’t forget your basket! For more info call (415) 458-2340 or visit their website.
  • Easter Parade & Egg Hunt
    Dunphy Park, Sausalito
    Saturday, 10 am–noon

    Sausalito's old-fashioned Easter celebration starts with a parade on Caledonia Street at 10 am, followed by an egg hunt at Dunphy Park at 10:15 am. Enjoy music by Tim Cain at 10:30 am and an Easter bonnet contest at 11 am. Dunphy Park is located on Bridgeway between Napa and Litho Streets. Free. For more info, visit their website.
  • Breakfast with Bunny and Egg Hunt
    Marinwood Community Center, San Rafael
    Saturday, 10 am

    Children will enjoy a free Easter Egg Hunt put on by the Las Gallinas Lions Club. Immediately after the egg hunt, a Breakfast with Bunny. Cost for breakfast: $7 adult; $5 child. Breakfast with Bunny Tickets will be sold at the door. Location: 775 Miller Creek Road. For more info, visit their website.
  • Naturally Dyed Eggs
    UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley
    Saturday, 10 am
    & 11:15 am
    This hands-on workshop will introduce children to the joy of natural dyes while they make their own patterns on eggs with brilliant plant-based colors. Price includes 4 eggs per participant. Registration required: Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $15; $12 members. Register by calling (510) 643-2755, or by emailing gardenprograms@berkeley.edu. For more info, visit their website.
  • Big Bunny's Spring Fling
    San Francisco Zoo
    Saturday & Sunday, 10 am–2:30 pm

    The San Francisco Zoo  is the place to be Easter weekend for a hoppin’ good time! The zoo is partnering with 106 KMEL’s Sana G Morning Show to host three egg hunts on Saturday and Sunday! You can also visit bunnies inside the Exploration Zone and take a picture with the head rabbit—the Easter Bunny. Other activities and entertainment include face painting, crafts for kids, a bounce house and music performances by the band Alphabet Rockers. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Egg Hunt & Spring Celebration
    Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville
    Saturday, 10 am–1 pm
    Join Coppola Winery for their annual Easter Egg Hunt through the vineyard! The Easter Egg Hunt starts promptly at 10 am and generally ends by 10:05 am. After the hunt is over, enjoy a wildlife show with exotic animals in the Pavilion. Start times for the wildlife show are 10:30, 11:30, and 12:30. Signups for your desired time are available upon arrival at check-in on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that seating is limited for each show. Space is limited and reservations are required. Cost: $12 per child 12 and under. Location: 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville. For more info, visit their website.
  • Easter Eggstravaganza
    Adobe Christian Center, Petaluma
    Saturday, 11 am–12:30 pm
    Every year the Adobe Chrisitian Center in Petaluma puts on an Easter Eggstravaganza with a massive egg hunt and tons of other fun activities for the kids. Enjoy games, police and fire vehicles, and giant slide, as well as delicious food available for purchase. Location: 2875 Adobe Road. $5 for the entire family. For more information, call (707) 763-2012 or visit www.adobecc.org.
  • Easter Egg Hunt
    Treasure Island Flea, San Francisco
    Saturday, 11 am–noon
    What's an Easter party without an egg hunt? The Treasure Island Flea hosts an Easter Egg hunt for kids 12 and under at the Kid Zone (near the kids' games). For more info, visit their website.
  • Children's Spring Egg Hunt and Camp Fair
    Memorial Park, San Anselmo

    Saturday, 10:30 am–1 pm
    Get in the spring spirit by participating in the annual San Anselmo Children's Egg Hunt! Kids will split into three age groups for this hunt, and set off at the sound of the fire truck's siren! Parent assistance is allowed in the 0–2 age group, otherwise please let your kids hunt! Egg hunt starts at 11 am sharp. Bring your camera in case you happen to see a lovable bunny hopping around! Don't miss the annual Summer Camp Fair as well. Camp providers will be on hand to answer questions, and there will be a bounce house and a magic show! For more info, call the San Anselmo Parks and Recreation Department at (415) 258-4640 or visit their website.

Classic Coconut Mini Cupcakes for Easter

March 26, 2016

Coconut cupcakesOld fashioned coconut cake is an Easter favorite. We decided to give this classic treat a kid-sized spin and made a fun mini cupcake version.

These light and sweet little cakes with a marshmallow-like frosting are great for parties, playdates, and get-togethers, and of course as dessert on Easter! Sure, you can use fresh toasted coconut on the outside, but we love the old-school white flaked sweetened coconut from the grocery store's baking aisle.

This recipe makes about three dozen mini cupcakes. You can use it to make regular-size cupcakes, too, but of course you'll need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.

Celebrate Spring with these Fun Family Outings

March 26, 2016

Japanese Tea GardenSpring officially begins this Friday, March 20 (although it seems like it's been here for a few weeks already). Daylight saving time is here, the weather is getting warmer, wildflowers are in bloom, and there are plenty of fun things for families to do. Here are some of our favorite springtime family events and outings in Marin and the San Francisco Bay Area. What's your family's favorite spring event?

Learn to Walk with the Willa Walker!

March 25, 2016

Willa WalkerLast summer we wrote about the Willa Walker, a cool new baby product launched by five Marin County dads. It's an innovative way for parents to participate in helping their baby learn to walk, while saving their backs, too. The Willa Walker is made from sustainable hardwood and cotton and finished with organic coconut oil.

The Willa Walker is basically two rings suspended from a hardwood bar by cotton straps. Baby grabs the rings (instead of your fingers) and you hold onto the bar and let her walk without having to stoop over and stress your back. It's a fantastic idea!

Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at Falkirk

March 24, 2016

Mad hatter's tea partyGet your tickets for the Mad Hatter's Spring Tea Party at San Rafael's Falkirk Cultural Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 and 24, 2016. There will be two sittings for this one-of-a-kind tea party, at noon and 3 pm, each day.

Join Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse for this whimsical Wonderland tea party, complete with tea sandwiches, beverages, and dessert. The company of characters in original costumes, from the Stark Ravens Historical Players, will entertain and make the little ones giggle and dream as they sip their hot chocolate. Falkirk’s beautiful and elegant Victorian setting is the perfect place for this fanciful spring tea party.

The cost is $27.50 for adults, $22.50 for children, or $48 for an adult and child. Admission includes all the food you can eat and a goodie bag for each child. Bring your camera for photos opportunities! Reservations are required; call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com.

Spectacular Views and Spring Wildflowers Await at Ring Mountain

March 22, 2016

Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve

Springtime is a perfect time to take a family hike at Ring Mountain Open Space Preserve near Tiburon. The preserve's renowned wildflower display will soon be in full swing (it's simply stunning), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of San Francisco, Mt. Tamalpais, and the entire Bay Area. It's one of our all-time favorite family hikes.

Right now, you'll see California poppies, yellow lupines, buttercups, white and purple Douglas iris, and other colorful flowers coming into bloom. If you haven't been to Ring Mountain, it's definitely worth a visit. It's especially lush this spring after all the rain we've been having lately. Make sure you bring a camera—it's a great place for a family photo.

Splash, Play, and Learn at the Rolling Hills Club Summer Camps

March 22, 2016

Rolling Hills Club Summer Camps

Looking for a fun camp for your kids this summer? Novato's Rolling Hills Club has been a favorite spot for summer fun for many Marin families for decades, and this season the club offers a full program of exciting and active summer camps for kids ranging in age from 3 to 13. Campers will enjoy plenty of traditional camp activities as well as STEAM based programming. (They'll learn something new every day and not even know it!)

Nestled at the foot of Mt. Burdell, the club's seven-acre campus features two outdoor swimming pools, 12 tennis courts, two racquetball courts, an outdoor sports court, an outdoor playground, grassy fields for outdoor play, and more—making it the ideal place for the perfect summer experience.

Summer camps at Rolling Hills Club for 2016 include:

  • Sports & Splash Camp for ages 5–10, features fun weekly themes like "Art Meets Science", "Grossology", "Junk Yard Wars", and "Pirate vs. Ninja". Campers will be divided by age into Rookies (5), All Stars (ages 6 and 7), and Pros (ages 8  to 10), and will play basketball, tennis, soccer, and wild and wacky games. Of course swimming, in the form of free swim or group lessons, is offered every day, too. Campers receive a T-shirt, as well as healthy snacks and lunch each day. Weekly sessions run from June 13–August 12, Monday–Friday, 9 am–4 pm. $320 members/$370 guests per week, or $70/$80 per day for drop-in.

Inside-out Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits

March 21, 2016

inside-out chicken pot pie with buttermilk biscuitsThis dish subverts the traditional chicken pot pie and makes it into an easier but no less delicious weeknight meal. Make a chicken pot pie filling, with plenty of chicken and vegetables, then spoon it over buttermilk biscuits. It's a dish that everyone in the family loves!

You can use either homemade or refrigerated biscuits to make this—it's great with either. Feel free to mix up the vegetables in the "filling"; broccoli and mushrooms are great additions. This recipe makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken (leftover rotisserie or roast chicken works great)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
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